Work in Canada Through the Post Graduate Work Program (PGWP)

Are you a recent graduate in search of prosperous opportunities in Canada? If so then the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) may be just what you’re looking for. There are currently over 800,000 available jobs in the private sector just waiting to be filled.  

The PGWP allows you to work in Canada once you have completed your studies at your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and get Canadian work experience, which is necessary when applying for permanent residency in Canada. This why choosing to study in Canada can be a life-changing decision as it not only gives you a world-class education but opens up so many opportunities as well as makes the visa application process much easier.

The processing times for Online Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) applications in Canada are relatively faster compared to paper-based extensions. Paper-based extensions take around 60 days, while online applications take approximately 159 days. To determine if you qualify for the PGWP, you can seek guidance from a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) to assist you through the application process and ensure that you meet the necessary requirements. It is important to consider the eligibility criteria and application procedures to make your Canadian post-graduation work permit a reality.

Am I Eligible for the PGWP?

Work After Graduation Options

Studying abroad, particularly in Canada, can set you on a path to success in your professional journey. If you are a graduate from one of the Canadian DLIs, you may be eligible to apply to work in Canada on a temporary basis. This will give you time to get enough Canadian work experience needed to be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residency. Not sure if you qualify? Follow our simple step by step guide to finding out.

Step 1: Check if your university/college on the list of DLIs?

Each province or territory has a list of institutions, including universities and colleges, that qualify for the PGWP. The top provinces with qualifying institutions include Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta

Provincial/Territorial DLIs Eligible for PGWP
1. Ontario+500
2. Quebec443
3. British Columbia277
4. Alberta158
5. New Brunswick50
6. Manitoba52
7. Nova Scotia40
8. Newfoundland & Labrador24
9. Saskatchewan38
10. Prince Edward Island12
11. Yukon4
12. Northwest Territories3
13. Nunavut1

Step 2: Check if you meet the general eligibility criteria

Once you have graduated, you will need to send in your application within 180 days after your final marks have been issued. Below are the necessary criteria to qualify for the PGWP. 

  • Completed a study program (degree, diploma, or certificate) at a DLI for at least eight months;
  • Been a full-time student in Canada for each semester; and
  • Graduated from a public post-secondary school (college, trade/technical school/university; or
  • Graduated from a Canadian private school that provides degrees under provincial law (as long as it leads to a degree as authorized by the province).

Quebec has its own requirements, and all applications will need to be made directly to the provincial immigration department.

It is also important to ensure that your passport is valid for the length of your PGWP. If not, you will need to apply on paper to extend your PGWP.

PGWP Policy Update 2024

Starting in September 2024, international students embarking on a study program governed by a curriculum licensing agreement will no longer qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) upon completion.

Under curriculum licensing agreements, students enroll in a private college authorized to deliver the curriculum associated with a public college.

If a public college has established licensing agreements with a private college, and a student is enrolled in the private college, they will be ineligible for a PGWP.

IRCC has also announced that individuals completing master's and other short graduate-level programs will soon have the opportunity to apply for a three-year work permit.

Under the existing criteria, the length of a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is determined by the duration of an individual's study program. As master's programs typically have shorter durations compared to undergraduate programs, the current criteria place limitations on the period during which master's or shorter-term graduate students can work in Canada.

This modification will make master's students eligible for a more extended work permit, providing them with increased time to accumulate valuable Canadian work experience. This often facilitates the process of transitioning to permanent residency for these individuals.

Step 3: Apply for your PGWP

Applying for visas and permits can be complicated, which is why it is recommended to use a paid accredited immigration and visa consultant in order to avoid disappointment or delays.

It is important to make sure that you have all the necessary supporting documentation, which includes:

  • an official letter from your DLI confirming that you have completed your study program;
  • an official transcript or copy from your institution’s website;
  • Give your biometrics if you haven’t already done so;
  • Medical exams results;
  • Police clearance certificate.

You will also need to change your status from student to a visitor before your permit expires. 

The great part about the PGWP is that it allows you to work in Canada on a full-time basis while your application is being processed! This depends on whether you meet the requirements for working off-campus. 

Finding a Job in Canada After Graduation

Finding a Job in Canada After Graduation

After graduating in Canada, there are several avenues you can explore to find a job. Here are some key steps to help you in your job search:

1. Work Permit

If you are an international student, you may be eligible to apply for a work permit after completing your studies. The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) allows you to work in Canada for up to three years after graduation.

2. Networking

Utilize your university's career services and alumni network to explore job opportunities. Networking with professionals in your field can often lead to job prospects.

3. Job Portals

Explore job portals and websites that specialize in listing job opportunities in Canada, such as Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor. Many companies also post job openings on their own websites.

4. Professional Associations

Joining professional associations related to your field can provide access to job postings and networking events.

5. Resume and Cover Letter

Tailor your resume and cover letter to the Canadian job market. Highlight your skills, experiences, and how they align with the job requirements.

6. Job Fairs

Attend job fairs and career events to connect with potential employers and learn about job opportunities.

7. Internships and Co-op Programs

Consider internships or co-op programs as they can often lead to full-time employment.

8. Language Skills

If English or French is not your first language, improving your language skills can enhance your job prospects in Canada.

By following these steps and remaining persistent, you can increase your chances of finding a job in Canada after graduation. Good luck!

How We Help You Fast-track Your Canadian Visa Application

How We Help You Fast-track Your Canadian Visa Application

Navigating the Canadian immigration system can be a lengthy process, with a copious amount of forms and documents to complete and strict submission dates, we wouldn’t blame you if you feel scared about getting started on your application. But that's what we’re here for. At, we take the stress and hassle out of planning to relocate abroad. Our accredited RCICs (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants) are ready to evaluate your eligibility, review all documentation and submit all documentation on your behalf. Using an RCIC not only gives you the best possible chance of receiving an ITA but will make the entire process simple and stress-free. 


Can I Extend my PGWP?

PGWP extensions are possible, but you must apply before your current permit expires. Extensions depend on the length of your initial permit and may be granted for up to three more years, depending on the circumstances.

Is PGWP an Open Work Permit?

Yes, the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is considered an open work permit in Canada. This means that PGWP holders are not restricted to a specific employer and can work for any employer in any location within Canada during the validity of their permit.

Do I Need To Have a Job Lined Up Before Applying for PGWP?

No, you do not need to have a job lined up before applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWP is an open work permit, allowing you to work for any employer in Canada. However, you must apply within a specific timeframe after completing your eligible program to qualify for the permit.